GL1000 carb thread issues

Tips and Recommendations from Guru Mike Nixon

Moderator: Whiskerfish

Post Reply
User avatar
mikenixon
Early 'Wing Guru
Early 'Wing Guru
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:51 am
Location: Prescott, AZ
Contact:

GL1000 carb thread issues

#1

Post by mikenixon »

Let's look at it a little more closely. It's important enough.

They may seem similar but the GL1000 and GL1100 carburetors, nearly the same size and bulk, are very different in construction. They're made of very different materials. In fact, a completely stripped, bare GL1000 carburetor casting (single carb body) is so different from a GL1100 casting in metallurgy that it weighs exactly *twice* as much. Yup, twice. The aluminum alloys make the difference. The GL1000 casting, designed in the 1960s -- when it first appeared on Honda's two-cylinder cars -- is rich in zinc. Casting technology in those days was such that many carburetor manufacturers used a freer-pouring zinc-based alloy to compensate for deficiencies in production technology. You can see this ethic in all the carburetors made in the 50s and 60s and it continued into the late 1970s in Keihin carbs.

So what? So what is these carbs, rich in heavy, soft zinc, are extremely vulnerable to thread damage. As are also the similarly-constructed early Honda CB fours. Same material. The metal is so soft the tiny 4mm float bowl threads are at considerable risk of stripping.

But another factor enters in as well. Being a late 50s/early 60s limited production automotive design to begin with, the GL1000 carburetor has one great flaw. Unlike the GL1100 whose float bowl tightens down metal to metal, making it almost impossible to over-tighten, the GL1000's float bowl never completely tightens down. It hovers over a soft rubber sheet gasket, never touching metal to metal. This is a surprisingly archaic design. There is never any tightening, any resistance, especially when using aftermarket gaskets. At least the stock gaskets have stiffening material embedded in the rubber sheet that offers a token squish resistance. The aftermarket gaskets do not and just make things that much worse.

These two things together: buttery soft metal construction and float bowl screws that never ultimately tighten down, add up to disaster. The situation can't be helped. Failure is designed-in. GL1000 float bowl threads will always be a problem, always want to pull out. Everyone who knows these carbs intimately knows this and has had to deal with it.

I handle this three ways. First, I use only the stock style cloth-embedded gaskets. Second, during final assembly I use a special torque-measuring screwdriver that permits only a certain amount of force on the screws that I know from experience is just the right amount. Third, as part of the rebuild I inspect all sixteen float bowl threads. I typically repair half of them on each project using permanent steel thread inserts.

Treat 'em right, gang. Watch those screws. No wood screw "repairs", please! And no oversized screw, drill-out-the-float-bowl-to-fit jobs either! Whew! And plan on, put on your calendar, to one day getting after those float bowl mounting threads and doing what it takes to repair them on these eminently vintage carburetors. That is, if you really care about your machine. These bikes are becoming part of the industry's history, examples of an ethic and a pathos and a kind of time stamp in Honda's technological timeline that is, well, history. And anything remotely like it is rapidly disappearing. Hang onto it. Love it. Preserve it.

https://www.motorcycleproject.com/text/ ... epair.html
User avatar
rcmatt007
Treasurer
Treasurer
Posts: 30416
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:48 pm
My Album: http://www.ngwclub.com/gallery/v/wingmans/rcmatt007/
Location: New River Valley, Virginia

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#2

Post by rcmatt007 »

as always, a great learning experience
User avatar
gltriker
Honored Life Member
Honored Life Member
Posts: 4050
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: Baldwinsville, NY (central NY)

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#3

Post by gltriker »

Hello Mike. I just happened across this excellent article, again. tumb2
I do not remember whether this particular tip had been shared before, though.

When I disassemble and reassemble my GL1000 carburetors, while loosening or initially tightening each one's 4 fuel bowl retaining screws, I always press down firmly on each carburetor's fuel bowl to counteract the constant compressed spring force of the primary and secondary main fuel jets' retainer exerted against the soft body screw threads.
If there isn't a pre-existing corrosion situation, that proactive step will reduce rotational wear on each carburetor body's, fuel bowl retaining threads. :-D
User avatar
mikenixon
Early 'Wing Guru
Early 'Wing Guru
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:51 am
Location: Prescott, AZ
Contact:

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#4

Post by mikenixon »

:)
User avatar
pidjones
True Blue Steel Biker
True Blue Steel Biker
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 4:06 pm
Location: East TN

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#5

Post by pidjones »

One of my "rescues" required all 16 threads repaired with inserts. Only one actually had the correct screw in itm although stripped out. The others had a variety of sheet metal and wood screws.
User avatar
mikenixon
Early 'Wing Guru
Early 'Wing Guru
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:51 am
Location: Prescott, AZ
Contact:

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#6

Post by mikenixon »

pidjones wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:49 pm One of my "rescues" required all 16 threads repaired with inserts. Only one actually had the correct screw in itm although stripped out. The others had a variety of sheet metal and wood screws.
It is an unusual GL1000 carb set that doesn't get at least a handful of inserts in my shop. Rare. It's a bad design, that non-contained flat rubber gasket.
Bobh
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:30 pm
Location: West Branch, Iowa

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#7

Post by Bobh »

On my 1977 14 of the 16 float bowl screws were cross threaded, stripped, or had oversize screws jammed in them. A couple were so bad that I couldn't find an insert with a large enough outside diameter and had to make my own. Inside the carbs many of the o-rings were damaged or missing. Previous owner claimed to have rebuilt the carbs. The quality of the rest of the work he'd done on the bike was about the same.
User avatar
mikenixon
Early 'Wing Guru
Early 'Wing Guru
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:51 am
Location: Prescott, AZ
Contact:

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#8

Post by mikenixon »

Bobh wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 1:48 pm On my 1977 14 of the 16 float bowl screws were cross threaded, stripped, or had oversize screws jammed in them. A couple were so bad that I couldn't find an insert with a large enough outside diameter and had to make my own. Inside the carbs many of the o-rings were damaged or missing. Previous owner claimed to have rebuilt the carbs. The quality of the rest of the work he'd done on the bike was about the same.
Wow. One of the beauties of using Timeserts (over others such as Helicoils) is that they can be nested. Kudos for making your own inserts. 🙂
Bobh
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:30 pm
Location: West Branch, Iowa

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#9

Post by Bobh »

I did use Timeserts but never thought of nesting them. I'll remember that if there's a next time.
User avatar
pidjones
True Blue Steel Biker
True Blue Steel Biker
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 4:06 pm
Location: East TN

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#10

Post by pidjones »

To reinforce your comment about the origins of these carbs, this is a photo Pete once shared of a pre-production set:
FB_IMG_1576771456811.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
mikenixon
Early 'Wing Guru
Early 'Wing Guru
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:51 am
Location: Prescott, AZ
Contact:

Re: GL1000 carb thread issues

#11

Post by mikenixon »

pidjones wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:17 am To reinforce your comment about the origins of these carbs, this is a photo Pete once shared of a pre-production set:FB_IMG_1576771456811.jpg
Notice the N600 float bowls?
Post Reply

Return to “Mike Nixon's Spot”